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Three Ph.D. policy students organize conference to explore how organizations can link silos of racial equity

Virginia Tech alum Susan Gooden is keynote speaker Virginia Tech alum Susan Gooden is keynote speaker

How can organizations achieve racial equity outcomes on a larger scale?

What are the opportunities for collaborative learning across various disciplines and industries?

About 90 participants from academia, government, and the business community were invited by Virginia Tech to attend an all-day conference on Thursday, April 21, at the Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington to explore the answers.

Linking the Silos of Racial Equity Work will focus on bridging gaps in communication and practices of social equity and race in education, housing, and media. The event will include speakers/participants from all sectors -- private, public, and non-profit.

Three Ph.D. students in the School of Public and International Affairs in the National Capital Region organized the conference: Lorita Daniels, Rosa Krewson, and Henry Smart.

Virginia Tech alumna Susan Gooden, professor of public policy and administration at the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University is the keynote speaker. Gooden is a renowned scholar, Fulbright recipient, and author of “Race and Social Equity: A Nervous Area of Government.” Her research interests span the topics of post-secondary education, welfare policy, and social equity. (Gooden earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Virginia Tech).

Kenneth Wong, associate dean for the Graduate School in the National Capital Region, will give an overview of how Virginia Tech leadership is addressing issues of diversity and inclusion through its InclusiveVT initiative.

Concurrent morning sessions will highlight Stories From the Field. Practitioners will share their experiences and best practices for advancing racial equity work in their organizations. Three options for Racial Equity Analysis will be offered in the afternoon. The full agenda and speakers can be found here.

“We hope that attendees leave the conference with practical ways of linking silos that they can apply within their individual organizations because working together is a much more effective way of achieving social and racial equity,” said Krewson. “We are grateful to all our funding sponsors and partners who helped us delve into this important but extremely complex topic with meaningful presentations and working session.”

Krewson noted that this program was offered to invited attendees free of charge by funding support from the Office of the Vice President in the National Capital Region, the School of Public and International Affairs, the Ridenour Faculty Fellowship, and Fairfax County. Partners include: PolicyLink, The Annie E. Case Foundation, the Center for the Study of Social Policy, Bread for the City, the Institute for the Study of "Race" and Social Justice, Empower DC, Georgetown University, TMI Consulting, and Fairfax County.

Posted April 19, 2016